Straight talk about Lena Dunham’s “rape” and the indignities of being black in America

film critics association arrivals 160111Political correctness demands that I agree with Lena Dunham that she was raped and that I agree with blacks, race hustlers, college students, and communists that the race problem in America is a white problem, not a black one.  To hell with political correctness.  I hereby pronounce myself unfettered, and am going with the truth as I see it — which is that young woman and American blacks need to own the problems about which they protest so vehemently — and that the situation won’t change until they change their behavior.

Here’s the truth about Lena Dunham: Lena Dunham was not raped. Lena Dunham was stupid.

According to Time Magazine, the first version of Dunham’s “rape” story goes as follows (Time sets the scene, followed by Dunham’s own words):

The real tale — or what she remembers of it — is much more painful. It begins at a party where Dunham is alone, drunk and high on Xanax and cocaine. It’s in that state that she runs into Barry, who she describes as “creepy,” and who sets off an alarm of “uh-oh” in her head as soon as she sees him.

Barry leads me to the parking lot. I tell him to look away. I pull down my tights to pee, and he jams a few of his fingers inside me, like he’s trying to plug me up. I’m not sure whether I can’t stop it or I don’t want to.

Leaving the parking lot, I see my friend Fred. He spies Barry leading me by the arm toward my apartment (apparently I’ve told him where I live), and he calls out my name. I ignore him. When that doesn’t work, he grabs me. Barry disappears for a minute, so its [sic] just Fred and me.

“Don’t do this,” he says.

“You don’t want to walk me home, so just leave me alone,” I slur, expressing some deep hurt I didn’t even know I had. “Just leave me alone.”

He shakes his head. What can he do?

After the two return to her apartment, Dunham does everything she can to convince herself that what’s happening is a choice. “I don’t know how we got here, but I refuse to believe it’s an accident,” she writes. She goes on to describe the event in graphic detail. Once he has forced himself on her, she talks dirty to him, again, to convince herself that she’s making a choice. But she knows she hasn’t given her consent. When she sees the condom in the tree — she definitely did not consent to not using a condom — she struggles away and throws him out.

Earlier in the same Time articleLena had described the condom situation:

Dunham writes a darkly humorous essay about a time she realized in the middle of sex that a condom she thought her partner had put on was hanging from a nearby plant.

“I think…? the condom’s…? In the tree?” I muttered feverishly.

“Oh,” he said, like he was as shocked as I was. He reached for it as if he was going to put it back on, but I was already up, stumbling towards my couch, which was the closest thing to a garment I could find. I told him he should probably go, chucking his hoodie and boots out the door with him. The next morning, I sat in a shallow bath for half an hour like someone in one of those coming-of-age movies.”

Huffington Post picks up with the second version Dunham wrote in the same autobiography about the same “rape” scene:

At the beginning of the next chapter, titled “Barry,” she backtracks, writing:

I’m an unreliable narrator … mostly because in another essay in this book I describe a sexual encounter with a mustachioed campus Republican as the upsetting but educational choice of a girl who was new to sex when, in fact, it didn’t feel like a choice at all.

She then retells some events from the condom-in-a-tree night in graphic detail.

“Barry leads me to the parking lot,” she writes. “I tell him to look away. I pull down my tights to pee, and he jams a few of his fingers inside me, like he’s trying to plug me up. I’m not sure whether I can’t stop it or I don’t want to.”

The two then go back to her apartment, and Dunham — in an attempt to convince herself that she’d given consent — talks dirty to him as he forces himself on her.

Do you see a single element of forced sex there? I don’t. From the very moment Dunham voluntarily stuffed herself with drugs and alcohol, if one is to trust her own narration (either version A or version B), Dunham went along with everything right up until she realized the condom was missing, at which point she protested and “Barry the Republican” immediately stopped.

Don’t believe me?  Well, let’s strip the facts to the bare essentials and see what we’ve got:

1.  Dunham voluntarily ingests a potent cocktail of alcohol, Xanax, and cocaine.  It’s worth noting here that, if she had then gone on to commit a criminal act — say, raping her little sister — the fact that she was incompetent because of intoxication would not be a defense, since she voluntarily intoxicated herself.

2.  “Barry” “leads” Dunham to a parking lot, which means she went willingly.  He doesn’t drag her, trick her, coerce her, stalk her, or anything else.  Because Dunham has incapacitated herself, she ignores the aversion she might feel if compos mentis and goes off with a guy she doesn’t like.  Guys have a name for this:  beer goggles.  It’s clear that, at this point, “Barry” has no reason to believe that Dunham is doing something against her will or that he is in any way forcing himself on Dunham.

3.  Dunham directs “Barry” to her apartment, which “Barry” could reasonably construe as yet another indicator that Dunham was willing to be in his company.

4.  Dunham’s friend Fred, suspecting that she’s in the grip of beer (and cocaine, and Xanax) goggle mania, tries to stop her from going off with “Barry.”  Dunham fiercely disavows Fred’s efforts and, again, throws herself at “Barry.”  The only signals Dunham is sending to “Barry” at this point are the ones reading “Yes, yes, willing, oh, you betcha!”

5.  In a parking lot, Dunham takes her clothes off in front of “Barry” (unless, that is, she pees through her pants).  “Barry,” not unreasonably, sees this as an invitation for him to fondle her genitals.  He is, apparently, clumsy, although Dunham doesn’t make an effort to stop him.

6.  At this point, all of the available internet resources quotations upon which I’ve relied stop describing “Barry’s” conduct with any specificity, saying only variations of “he forced himself on her.”  After the fact, Dunham complains that, all her “yes” signals notwithstanding (being “on the prowl,” following him out of a party, taking her clothes off and peeing in front of him, taking him to her apartment), “at no moment did I consent to being handled that way. I never gave him permission to be rough, to stick himself inside me without a barrier between us. I never gave him permission.”

[I concede here that, not having read the book, I can only rely on quotations from the book that are available online . . . and none of those quotations describes precisely how “Barry” “forced” himself on Dunham, or was rough with her.  I can, however, reach some conclusions based upon what Dunham herself says about her conduct during the sexual encounter.]

7.  During sex, Dunham herself admits that she engaged in conduct that would make any reasonable person believe the sexual activity was consensual.  Aside from the pre-sex come-ons (throwing away her inhibitions with intoxicants, leaving a party with him, getting naked with him), she also says she encouraged “Barry” with dirty talk.  How in the world was “Barry” to know that she was just trying to encourage herself?  What does she think a drunken college student is — a mind reader?

8.  Dunham also acknowledges that they were both trying to use a condom, which again implies consent on her part.  Just as importantly, Dunham explicitly states that, when she finally realized that the condom never made it onto “Barry”, “Barry,” albeit reluctantly, stopped.

Here’s what really happened:  Dunham, a depressed, intoxicated person, voluntarily got wasted and went off with the first guy who asked.  The sex was lousy (it usually is if at least one of the participants is wasted), but what totally freaked her out was the missing condom.  At that point, she panicked, because of possible consequences, such as pregnancy or a loathsome disease.

The only mentally safe place for Dunham at that time, fearfully facing the consequences of her horribly decision-making, was to blame the guy — a cowardly bit of denial aided by a roommate well-versed in the language of victim-hood (and equally well-versed in the “girl code,” which is that it’s never your friend’s fault, no matter how stupid she was).  The closest Dunham can come to admitting that the evening was entirely her fault is to take refuge in passive voice:  “But I knew that it wasn’t right and I knew in some way that this experience had been forced on me.”

Dunham was not raped; Dunham was stupid.

Black on white rape v white on black rapeThe only way the black situation vis a vis law enforcement will improve is if blacks demand change in their own communities.

Before I get to blacks, let me share a family story.

My son keeps complaining that we cut him less slack than we do his sister.  It’s true.  He’s absolutely right.  And we do that for a reason:  His sister gets good grades, works hard, and engages in all sorts of extracurricular activities.  If Sister is studying her smart phone, our lizard brain says “Big deal.”  It might even add “Maybe she’s studying.”

Brother, however, refuses to study, gets mediocre grades, slacks off, and is consistently playing mindless games on any electronic device he can find.  If he’s studying his smart phone, our lizard brain says, “God damn it!  He’s at it again.  I told him to study and he’s not.”  Even when Brother shows us a school website on his phone, we’re still hacked off because our lizard brain knows the truth:  90% of the time, Brother is slacking.

Brother tells us to be less angry.  We tell him that he needs to retrain our lizard brains by being more responsible, working harder, being more respectful, and laying off the computer games.  Until such time as he cleans up his act, it’s entirely reasonable for us to assume the worst.  He needs to act right, so that we stop re-acting wrong.

And now back to the black experience in America.

I am willing to concede that cops view blacks — especially black men — with suspicion.  I’m willing to concede that black men, no matter how upright their standing in the community is, no matter the dignity of their bearing, no matter the high corporate position they occupy, are often eyed askance by law enforcement, store detectives, and ordinary citizens, all of whom wonder if this particular black man might be a risk to person or property.  I acknowledge that, for the honest, honorable black man who keeps having police stop him or scrutinize him, this is humiliating and demeaning.

And that’s where I stop conceding and agreeing and acknowledging.  Why?  Because it’s at this point that the honest, honorable, upright black man insists that I, and the store detective, and the police, and all the other people stop racially profiling him.

Sorry, dude.  Not going to happen.  You know why?  Because too many of your black brothers and sisters commit crime in numbers vastly disproportionate to their representation in the American population.  To say that sounds racist, but it’s a fact.  Blacks prey on blacks, whites, Asians, Hispanics but, really, especially on blacks.  They rob, loot, rape, assault, and murder.

Most blacks, of course, don’t.  But too many do.  We all know that.  And when we’re in a parking lot, at night, and we have a millisecond to make a smart decision that might save our life, we’re not going to think “Is he wearing an Armani or a knock-off?  And is that a bag that holds a gun or a stylish satchel that holds notes from the latest executive board meeting?”  When milliseconds count, we’re going to think “Black man.  Disproportionate risk of violent crime.”  And you bet that we’re going to look at him askance.  That’s how the lizard brain, especially the lizard brain in stupid white people, works.

Do you want to know how to turn off the instantaneous statistical analysis that takes place in the lizard brain of the average (and we’ll concede, stupid) non-black person, an analysis that says that, when milliseconds count, black men bear watching?  You turn your gimlet eye on your fellow black men and tell them to shape up.  You tell them that they’re the ones who are training lizard brains to react fearfully.  As I told my son, black men need to act right, so that stupid white people stop re-acting wrong.